Russian and East European Studies Librarian (UPenn)

Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description SummaryThe Russian and East European Studies Librarian supports the research, teaching, and learning mission of the University of Pennsylvania as team member in the Center for Global Collections developing and managing library resources from and about Russia, the former Soviet Union, East Europe and its diasporas and providing library services for the interdisciplinary field of Russian and East European Studies at Penn.

Job Description


Collection Development. Reporting to the Director, Center for Global Collections the Russian and East European Studies Librarian selects scholarly resources in all formats from and about Russia, the former Soviet Union, East Europe and about members of Slavic diasporas globally in a wide range of subjects and formats in support of Penn’s current and anticipated academic programs and in consultation with faculty members. The librarian selects resources in Slavic languages such as Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian. The selection of resources in Western languages (e.g., English, French, German, and Italian) is also an essential component of the job. Collection development responsibilities include budget and fund management, endowments stewardship, approval plan oversight, gift review, collaboration with collections librarians in making major purchases, and reviewing trends in publishing modes and practices. The librarian will build and maintain collections that are diverse, forward-looking, and appropriate to Penn’s Russian and East European studies community.

Reference, instruction, and liaison services. The Russian and East European Studies Librarian develops strong working relationships with and provides specialized reference, instruction, and academic liaison services to Penn faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, with research interests in East Europe in all departments and schools where they are included as topics of study. They are responsible for providing group and individual instruction and consultation for basic and advanced research and for academic courses and will provide library support for aspects of scholarly communication including copyright and publishing guidance and related scholarly services. The librarian develops and maintains the East European collections web presence including LibGuides and Collection Development Policies and participates in library-wide services such as general research assistance (e.g., library chat, student engagement programming, orientations and tours) and library instruction outside of designated liaison areas. The librarian will work with colleagues to create a learning environment that is inclusive and welcoming and that supports the University’s diverse community.

Acquisitions and cataloging. The Russian and East European Studies Librarian, working together with Global Studies Technical Services, participates in the process of acquisition and bibliographic control of all types of resources in East European languages. The incumbent may perform original cataloging and complex copy cataloging while also providing appropriate classification and subject analysis according to national and local standards. The librarian will build collaborations with peer library partners and community members to facilitate local-language cataloging.

Collaboration. The Russian and East European Studies Librarian works collaboratively with colleagues across the whole of the Penn Libraries, especially those in area studies and with campus constituencies such as the Russian and East European Studies Department (REES), the Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies Working Group, Penn Language Center, and donors related to the East European Studies collection. The librarian works together with colleagues in technical services to set priorities for processing and to manage acquisition workflows. The librarian will contribute to instruction work, special initiatives, and professional development across the Libraries, helping to foster a collaborative environment and bringing a global perspective to the broader work of the Libraries. The librarian will also participate in the larger field of East European Studies librarianship on the national and international levels with particular emphasis on fostering collaboration.



1. Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library school or a minimum of three years of relevant professional experience with the equivalent in education and training. 

2. Advanced knowledge of Russian, former Soviet Union or East European history, literature, and culture.

3. Knowledge of the publishing industry related to East European Studies and throughout East Europe.

4. Familiarity with the major bibliographic tools (print and electronic) for East European and Slavic Studies.

5. Proficiency in at least one Slavic language with a preference for Russian.

6. Experience working collaboratively and independently with varied groups within a complex organization and rapidly changing work environment as well as the ability to work independently and collegially with librarians and users.


1. Graduate degree in field related to East European Studies.  

2. Experience in collection development and management, including managing a subject materials acquisition fund.

3. Breadth of knowledge of current and developing patterns of scholarship and publishing in relevant fields of study and commitment to the international and interdisciplinary strengths of Penn’s academic programs.

4. Knowledge of scholarship and publishing related to Central Asia.

5. Interest in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in building, maintaining, and delivering library collections and services. 

6. Experience using bibliographic utilities for searching and cataloging in non-Roman scripts.

7. Demonstrated excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.

Application Requirement:

A Cover Letter and Resume/CV are required to be considered for this position. Please upload your Cover Letter where it asks you to upload your Resume/CV; multiple documents are allowed.

Budgeted Pay Range:

Up to $75K commensurate with education and experience

Job Location – City, StatePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / SchoolUniversity Library

Pay Range$51,824.00 – $78,096.00

Affirmative Action Statement 
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements 
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family’s health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn’s exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn’s Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family—whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you’re newly hired, you won’t have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That’s why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University’s libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There’s always something going on at Penn, whether it’s a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you’re right in the middle of the excitement—and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you’ll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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